The Power of Community in Building Brands: Etsy to Acquire Reverb

July 1, 2019
Company Profiles
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In July 2019, Etsy announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Reverb, a leading online marketplace for new, used and vintage musical instruments. Summit Partners invested in Reverb in 2015, backing CEO and Founder David Kalt for a second time. Below, Andy Collins shares his perspective on the Reverb story and how the powerful combination of product passion and community strength can drive growth.

E-commerce brands go to market differently today than in prior decades. The most successful are led by teams with a true passion for their product and are energized by the community that shares in that passion. Reverb has both of these characteristics – product passion and community strength – in spades.

Founded by David Kalt in 2013, Reverb began with a simple goal: make it easier and more affordable to buy and sell music gear online. A musician himself, David built a team of musicians around him, individuals with a love for and an intimate understanding of the product they were working to create. In just a few short years, the Reverb team has translated this product – and the brand and business that it represents – into so much more. Today, Reverb is “home” to an engaged and authentic community where musicians come to learn, be inspired and connect over the perfect instrument. The Reverb team has worked to create content, add features and deliver services that foster engagement, build trust and, importantly, allow for more seamless transactions on the Reverb marketplace. The success of the platform offers clear evidence of the power of a “product + community” combination.

Across geographies, demographics, end markets and business models, we have witnessed the enormously powerful impact that this combination can have on brand creation. We see it within the Summit Partners portfolio and elsewhere – in software, in healthcare, in B2B and B2C business models. Communities – of professionals with similar purchasing decisions, of patients seeking perspective on personal health, of consumers looking for insight on or validation of a product – will rally around great products, help to foster a deep sense of loyalty and can help drive outsized growth.

Today, we want to celebrate the strength of the Reverb community and the growth story they helped to create. We congratulate David and the Reverb team on the beginning of a new chapter in this great story. We are confident that joining Etsy will further fuel the growth of the Reverb community and that together, they will make the world even more musical.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Since 1984, Summit Partners has invested in more than 500 companies in technology, healthcare, consumer, financial services and other growth sectors. An alphabetical list of Summit Partners' growth equity portfolio companies can be found here.

In the United States of America, Summit Partners operates as an SEC-registered investment advisor. In the United Kingdom, this document is issued by Summit Partners LLP, a firm authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Summit Partners LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC388179 and its registered office is at 11–12 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JJ, UK. This document is intended solely to provide information regarding Summit Partners’ potential financing capabilities for prospective portfolio companies.

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